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South Africa-The Impact of World War II The Great Depression and the 1930s





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South Africa Index

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 proved a divisive factor in the white community. Smuts favored entry into the war on the side of the British. Hertzog supported neutrality. Many of Malan's supporters wanted to enter the war on Germany's side. German National Socialism, with its emphasis on the racial superiority of Germanic peoples, its anti-Semitism, and its use of state socialism to benefit the "master race," had garnered many Afrikaner admirers in the 1930s. A neo-Nazi Greyshirt organization had been formed in 1933 that drew increasing support, especially among rural Afrikaners, in the late 1930s. In 1938 Afrikaners participating in the commemoration of the Great Trek had established the Ossewabrandwag (Oxwagon Sentinel) as a paramilitary organization aimed at inculcating a "love for fatherland" and at instituting, by armed force if necessary, an Afrikaner-controlled republic in South Africa. By the end of the decade, the Ossewabrandwag claimed a membership of 250,000 out of a total Afrikaner population of a little more than 1 million. Oswald Pirow, Hertzog's minister of defense until the end of 1939, formed a movement within the National Party called the New Order, a fascist program for remaking South African society along Nazi lines. Smuts prevailed, however, winning the support of a majority of the cabinet and becoming prime minister. Hertzog resigned and joined with Malan in forming the Herenigde (Reunited) National Party (HNP). South Africa sent troops to fight on the British side in North Africa and in Europe. In South Africa, several thousand members of the Ossewabrandwag, including a future prime minister, John Vorster, were interned for antiwar activities.

Economically and socially, the war had a profound effect. While gold continued to be the most important industry, providing two-thirds of South Africa's revenues and three-quarters of its export earnings, manufacturing grew enormously to meet wartime demands. Between 1939 and 1945, the number of people employed in manufacturing, many of them African women, rose 60 percent. Urbanization increased rapidly: the number of African town dwellers almost doubled. By 1946 there were more Africans in South Africa's towns and cities than there were whites. Many of these blacks lived in squatter communities established on the outskirts of major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Such developments, although necessary for war production, contradicted the segregationist ideology that blacks should live in their rural locations and not become permanent urban residents.

More unsettling still to the segregationists was the development of new black organizations that demanded official recognition of their existence and better treatment of their members. In Johannesburg, for example, James Mpanza proclaimed himself king of his Orlando squatter encampment, set up his own system of local government and taxation, and established the Sofasonke ("We shall all die together") Party. Urban black workers, demanding higher wages and better working conditions, also formed their own trade unions and engaged in a rash of strikes throughout the early 1940s. By 1946 the Council of Non-European Trade Unions (CNETU), formed in 1941, claimed 158,000 members organized in 119 unions. The most important of these new trade unions was the African Mineworkers Union (AMWU), which by 1944 claimed a membership of 25,000. In 1946 the AMWU struck for higher wages in the gold mines and succeeded in getting 60,000 men to stop work. The strike was crushed by police actions that left twelve dead, but it demonstrated the potential strength of organized black workers in challenging the cheap labor system.

Data as of May 1996

The onset of the Great Depression brought about considerable political change. Hertzog, whose National Party had won the 1929 election alone, after splitting with the Labour Party, received much of the blame for the devastating economic impact of the depression. Fearing electoral defeat in the next election (1934), he sought a partnership with his former opponent, Jan Smuts, and the latter's South African Party. In 1933 Hertzog and Smuts made an alliance, and in the following year they merged their two parties to form the United South African National Party, also known as the United Party (UP). Hertzog and Smuts then won the general election; Hertzog continued as prime minister and Smuts became his deputy. Many Afrikaners criticized Hertzog's move, especially because they considered Smuts to be an opponent of Afrikaner nationalism who was too closely allied with the English mine owners; under the leadership of D.F. Malan and the Broederbond, they split away to form their own political party, the Purified National Party.

Malan built his political appeal by stressing the particular sufferings of the Afrikaner people. Their economic problems had become especially evident during the depression, when the Carnegie Commission on Poor Whites had concluded in 1931 that nearly one-third of Afrikaners lived as paupers, whereas few English-speaking whites lived below the poverty line. To deal with this problem, Malan and his allies in the Broederbond encouraged the development of an Afrikaner economic movement. The Volkskas (People's Bank) was founded in 1934; and exclusively Afrikaner trade unions, which espoused a Christian-National ethic combining devout Calvinism with ethnic nationalism, were established at the same time. In subsequent years, the Broederbond worked closely with Sanlam/Santam to pool whatever wealth was available and to invest it in new economic opportunities for the volk (people). Malan and his allies also drew attention to the past sufferings of the Afrikaner people by organizing a commemorative reenactment in 1938 of the Great Trek. Ox-wagon parades through the country culminated in a festival held in Pretoria on December 16, the exact day on which, 100 years earlier, the Zulu had been defeated at the Battle of Blood River. A massive Voortrekker Monument, replete with friezes depicting the heroism of the Voortrekkers and the treachery of the Africans, was officially opened while Malan made a speech in which he said that it was the duty of Afrikaners "to make South Africa a white man's land."

Hertzog and Smuts, while rejecting the ethnic nationalism of Malan, hardly differed with him in their policies toward blacks. In the mid-1930s, the United Party government introduced legislation to remove Africans from the common voters' roll in the Cape, to limit them to electing white representatives to Parliament, and to create a Natives Representative Council that had advisory powers only (Representation of Natives Act [No. 12] of 1936). The government increased the amount of land set aside for blacks from 7.5 percent to 13 percent of South Africa, but confirmed the policy that the country should always be segregated unequally by race (the Native Trust and Land Act [No. 18] of 1936) and enforced even stricter regulation of the pass laws (the Native Laws Amendment Act of 1937). In response to growing anti-Semitic sentiments among Afrikaners--usually directed at the mine owners, many of whom were Jewish--the government introduced legislation to prevent the immigration of Jews into South Africa (the Aliens Act [No. 1] of 1937). The same law also prohibited the entry of any immigrant who could not quickly assimilate into the white population.

Organized black responses to these measures were muted. The ANC, under the conservative leadership of Pixley Seme since 1930, concentrated on advising Africans to try to better themselves and to respect their chiefs rather than engaging in an active condemnation of Hertzog's policies. Membership in the congress fell to a few thousand. In December 1935, some ANC members, dissatisfied with this approach, together with representatives of Indian and coloured political organizations, met in Bloemfontein and formed the All-African Convention (AAC) to protest the proposed new laws as well as segregation in general. But even this organization, composed largely of members of the black professional class along with church leaders and students, avoided the confrontational approach of the ICU. The AAC leaders stressed their loyalty to South Africa and to Britain and called yet again for the British Parliament to intervene to ameliorate the condition of blacks.

The Impact of World War II

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 proved a divisive factor in the white community. Smuts favored entry into the war on the side of the British. Hertzog supported neutrality. Many of Malan's supporters wanted to enter the war on Germany's side. German National Socialism, with its emphasis on the racial superiority of Germanic peoples, its anti-Semitism, and its use of state socialism to benefit the "master race," had garnered many Afrikaner admirers in the 1930s. A neo-Nazi Greyshirt organization had been formed in 1933 that drew increasing support, especially among rural Afrikaners, in the late 1930s. In 1938 Afrikaners participating in the commemoration of the Great Trek had established the Ossewabrandwag (Oxwagon Sentinel) as a paramilitary organization aimed at inculcating a "love for fatherland" and at instituting, by armed force if necessary, an Afrikaner-controlled republic in South Africa. By the end of the decade, the Ossewabrandwag claimed a membership of 250,000 out of a total Afrikaner population of a little more than 1 million. Oswald Pirow, Hertzog's minister of defense until the end of 1939, formed a movement within the National Party called the New Order, a fascist program for remaking South African society along Nazi lines. Smuts prevailed, however, winning the support of a majority of the cabinet and becoming prime minister. Hertzog resigned and joined with Malan in forming the Herenigde (Reunited) National Party (HNP). South Africa sent troops to fight on the British side in North Africa and in Europe. In South Africa, several thousand members of the Ossewabrandwag, including a future prime minister, John Vorster, were interned for antiwar activities.

Economically and socially, the war had a profound effect. While gold continued to be the most important industry, providing two-thirds of South Africa's revenues and three-quarters of its export earnings, manufacturing grew enormously to meet wartime demands. Between 1939 and 1945, the number of people employed in manufacturing, many of them African women, rose 60 percent. Urbanization increased rapidly: the number of African town dwellers almost doubled. By 1946 there were more Africans in South Africa's towns and cities than there were whites. Many of these blacks lived in squatter communities established on the outskirts of major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Such developments, although necessary for war production, contradicted the segregationist ideology that blacks should live in their rural locations and not become permanent urban residents.

More unsettling still to the segregationists was the development of new black organizations that demanded official recognition of their existence and better treatment of their members. In Johannesburg, for example, James Mpanza proclaimed himself king of his Orlando squatter encampment, set up his own system of local government and taxation, and established the Sofasonke ("We shall all die together") Party. Urban black workers, demanding higher wages and better working conditions, also formed their own trade unions and engaged in a rash of strikes throughout the early 1940s. By 1946 the Council of Non-European Trade Unions (CNETU), formed in 1941, claimed 158,000 members organized in 119 unions. The most important of these new trade unions was the African Mineworkers Union (AMWU), which by 1944 claimed a membership of 25,000. In 1946 the AMWU struck for higher wages in the gold mines and succeeded in getting 60,000 men to stop work. The strike was crushed by police actions that left twelve dead, but it demonstrated the potential strength of organized black workers in challenging the cheap labor system.

Data as of May 1996



BackgroundDutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009.
LocationSouthern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Area(sq km)total: 1,219,090 sq km
land: 1,214,470 sq km
water: 4,620 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Geographic coordinates29 00 S, 24 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 4,862 km
border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

Coastline(km)2,798 km

Climatemostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
Natural resourcesgold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Land use(%)arable land: 12.1%
permanent crops: 0.79%
other: 87.11% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)14,980 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)50 cu km (1990)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 12.5 cu km/yr (31%/6%/63%)
per capita: 264 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsprolonged droughts
Environment - current issueslack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteSouth Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
Population49,052,489
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 28.9% (male 7,093,328/female 7,061,579)
15-64 years: 65.8% (male 16,275,424/female 15,984,181)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,075,117/female 1,562,860) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 24.4 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 24.8 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)0.281% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)19.93 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)16.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 61% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 44.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 48.66 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 40.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 48.98 years
male: 49.81 years
female: 48.13 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.38 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
Ethnic groups(%)black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)

Religions(%)Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
Languages(%)IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
Government typerepublic
Capitalname: Pretoria (administrative capital)
geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
Administrative divisions9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West, Western Cape
Constitution10 December 1996; note - certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996; was signed by then President MANDELA on 10 December 1996; and entered into effect on 4 February 1997

Legal systembased on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Executive Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE (since 11 May 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Executive Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE (since 11 May 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 May 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: Jacob ZUMA elected president; National Assembly vote - Jacob ZUMA 277, Mvume DANDALA 47, other 76

Legislative branchbicameral Parliament consisting of the National Council of Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms; has special powers to protect regional interests, including the safeguarding of cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities) and the National Assembly (400 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms); note - following the implementation of the new constitution on 4 February 1997, the former Senate was disbanded and replaced by the National Council of Provinces with essentially no change in membership and party affiliations, although the new institution's responsibilities have been changed somewhat by the new constitution
elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held on 22 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)
election results: National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 65.9%, DA 16.7%, COPE 7.4%, IFP 4.6%, other 5.4%; seats by party - ANC 264, DA 67, COPE 30, IFP 18, other 21

Judicial branchConstitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts

Political pressure groups and leadersCongress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI, general secretary]; South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]; South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE, national president]
note: note - COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, C, FAO, G-20, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, NSG, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag descriptiontwo equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes

Economy - overviewSouth Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is 17th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. Growth was robust from 2004 to 2008 as South Africa reaped the benefits of macroeconomic stability and a global commodities boom, but began to slow in the second half of 2008 due to the global financial crisis' impact on commodity prices and demand. However, unemployment remains high and outdated infrastructure has constrained growth. At the end of 2007, South Africa began to experience an electricity crisis because state power supplier Eskom suffered supply problems with aged plants, necessitating "load-shedding" cuts to residents and businesses in the major cities. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty, lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of public transportation. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative but pragmatic, focusing on controlling inflation, maintaining a budget surplus, and using state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas as a means to increase job growth and household income.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$492.2 billion (2008 est.)
$477.4 billion (2007 est.)
$454.2 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$276.8 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)3.1% (2008 est.)
5.1% (2007 est.)
5.3% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$10,100 (2008 est.)
$9,900 (2007 est.)
$9,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 33.7%
services: 63% (2008 est.)
Labor force17.79 million economically active (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 9%
industry: 26%
services: 65% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)22.9% (2008 est.)
24.3% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 44.7% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index65 (2005)
59.3 (1994)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)23.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $77.43 billion
expenditures: $79.9 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)11.3% (2008 est.)
6.5% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$44.66 billion (31 December 2008)
$58.49 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$124.1 billion (31 December 2008)
$141.9 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$214.8 billion (31 December 2008)
$254.9 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$491.3 billion (31 December 2008)
$833.5 billion (31 December 2007)
$715 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$700 million (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)31.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
45.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productscorn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Industriesmining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate(%)1% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$20.98 billion (2008 est.)
-$20.78 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$86.12 billion (2008 est.)
$75.92 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports - partners(%)Japan 11.1%, US 11.1%, Germany 8%, UK 6.8%, China 6%, Netherlands 5.2% (2008)
Imports$90.57 billion (2008 est.)
$81.66 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Imports - partners(%)Germany 11.2%, China 11.1%, US 7.9%, Saudi Arabia 6.2%, Japan 5.5%, UK 4% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$34.07 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$32.94 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$71.81 billion (31 December 2008)
$75.28 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$120 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$110.4 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$63.57 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$65.88 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesrand (ZAR) per US dollar - 7.9576 (2008 est.), 7.05 (2007), 6.7649 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004)

Currency (code)rand (ZAR)

Telephones - main lines in use4.425 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular45 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 110 telephones per 100 persons; consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
international: country code - 27; the SAT-3/WASC and SAFE fiber optic cable systems connect South Africa to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
Internet country code.za
Internet users4.187 million (2008)
Airports607 (2009)
Pipelines(km)condensate 11 km; gas 908 km; oil 980 km; refined products 1,379 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 362,099 km
paved: 73,506 km (includes 239 km of expressways)
unpaved: 288,593 km (2002)

Ports and terminalsCape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
Military branchesSouth African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), Joint Operations Command, Military Intelligence, South African Military Health Services (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 11,622,507
females age 16-49: 11,501,537 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 7,641,557
females age 16-49: 6,518,793 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 511,616
female: 510,540 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.7% of GDP (2006)
Military - notewith the end of apartheid and the establishment of majority rule, former military, black homelands forces, and ex-opposition forces were integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF); as of 2003 the integration process was considered complete
Disputes - internationalSouth Africa has placed military along the border to apprehend the thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing economic dysfunction and political persecution; as of January 2007, South Africa also supports large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (33,000), Somalia (20,000), Burundi (6,500), and other states in Africa (26,000); managed dispute with Namibia over the location of the boundary in the Orange River; in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 10,772 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,818 (Somalia); 5,759 (Angola) (2007)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation; women and girls are trafficked internally - and occasionally to European and Asian countries - for sexual exploitation; women from other African countries are trafficked to South Africa and, less frequently, onward to Europe for sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked from neighboring countries for forced agricultural labor; Asian and Eastern European women are trafficked to South Africa for debt-bonded sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - South Africa is on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year for its failure to show increasing efforts to address trafficking; the government provided inadequate data in 2007 on trafficking crimes investigated or prosecuted, or on resulting convictions or sentences; it also did not provide information on its efforts to protect victims of trafficking; the country continues to deport and/or prosecute suspected foreign victims without providing appropriate protective services (2008)
Electricity - production(kWh)240.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 93.5%
hydro: 1.1%
nuclear: 5.5%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)215.1 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)14.16 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)10.57 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)195,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)583,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)128,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)490,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)15 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)3.25 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)6.45 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)27.16 million cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)18.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS5.7 million (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths350,000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.4%
male: 87%
female: 85.7% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2004)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)5.4% of GDP (2006)








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